Finding a home is a lot like finding love. Many people search for it their entire lives only to never truly taste it. Often, people look for it in the wrong places at the wrong times, mistaking it for something more trivial or giving it up when they find it. In many ways, finding a home is a love, only that, instead of finding the connection in a person, one finds it in a place.
A home is not a house nor even, necessarily, a building. You don't have to live there or even go there often. Truth be told, home isn't even a place at all, it's a connection you share with a place. It can be a connection forged over time or a bond formed instantly, the second you set foot on the hallowed ground.
Home is a feeling of comfort, a sense of belonging. It's a feeling of security, a place to come to when you're in retreat from the world around you, it's a nurturing sensation that helps you recover and invites you in even when everywhere else seems to reject you.
As such, you can't make a home or build one, it has to find you. Furthermore, the homes we knew and loved as children are quickly outgrown the same as the blankets and lullabies that once made us feel safe. They become nothing more than cherished memories of a simpler time, when the world was smaller and home was wherever you rested your head.
But in our materialistic society, we forget the value of a home. We build houses and mansions, mistaking them to be homes. We feel that we can build bigger, better and more perfect dwellings and make them homes, that we can solve everything with money and greed.
We waste billions upon billions building castles, large and small, only to find them empty and meaningless. No matter how many people live inside them, these temples to greed always feel vacant, like no life can survive within them. They're cookie cutter solutions to an individual need, a desire that's as personal and unique to us as our fingerprints.
That's why we build houses, not homes. That's why so many people, though happy in every other way, are still searching for that feeling of home. Though they might have the family of their dreams and the life they've always craved, there's always that gnawing sense of emptiness, the realization that something is lacking, whenever they stare at the walls around them.
Because home is about character, the character of yourself and the character of the place around you. That's what makes a home something you can't buy, but something you find, cherish and hold onto.
For, much like love, it's something that can be very fleeting and something found not in the grandest of words or gestures, but the smallest of symbols. If you don't enjoy the moments you have, they could be gone tomorrow and moments not enjoyed make poor memories.
So, if you find a home, no matter where it is or what it is, cherish it and love it as deeply as you can. You owe it to yourself and to those who haven't found it yet to make every moment count.
For, in a world so full of misery, we must treasure every joy we can find, even the simple joys of feeling safe and secure in the place that you call home.